Fireworks likely cause of Arkansas bird deaths

Written by: Anita Nair
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London, Jan 4 (ANI): Fireworks may have caused thousands of birds to fall from the sky over an Arkansas town on New Year's Eve, according to US scientists.

Officials say more than 3,000 birds fell over the city of Beebe, reports the BBC.

Karen Rowe, of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said the red-winged blackbirds probably flew low to avoid explosions and collided with objects.

The few that survived their fall stumbled around like drunken revelers, witnesses said.

Birds were "littering the streets, the yards, the driveways, everywhere," said Robby King, a county wildlife officer.

Initial laboratory reports said the birds had died from trauma, according to AGFC.

Residents reported hearing loud fireworks just before the birds started raining from the sky.

"They started going crazy, flying into one another," said AGFC spokesman Keith Stephens.

The birds also hit homes, cars, trees and other objects, and some could have flown hard into the ground.

"The blackbirds were flying at rooftop level instead of treetop level" to avoid explosions above, said Rowe, an ornithologist.

"Blackbirds have poor eyesight, and they started colliding with things," she said.

However, another theory is that a violent thunderstorm could have disoriented a roost of blackbirds. (ANI)

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